Email Marketing Blunders

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I try to write about three times per week. Most of it is pretty good and will probably help you grow your business. If it doesn't, then I probably can't help you.

You can use a traditional RSS Feedreader with this fancy-dancy link. I think this approach is harder but if you want to do it the hard way, who am I to say otherwise?

You can use a traditional RSS Feedreader with this fancy-dancy link. I think this approach is harder but if you want to do it the hard way, who am I to say otherwise?

posted this on Friday, December 23, 2011 at about 9am.
Spam Can

When I selected my email address name (I use smith [at] coreysmith [dot] ws) I never thought it would be a filter of stupidity. I am amazed at how many emails I get from ‘marketers’ that think my name is Smith. It’s obvious that these marketers really don’t know what they are doing.

Let’s me explain why.

Last night I received an email from a company called TalkSeda. The message was extraordinarily long but the intro and the first paragraph really got to me.

Hi Smith,

This is Adrian from TalkSeda-GVO, I was given your contact info by our marketing team. I am wondering if you are using some web-conferencing services for online meetings because TalkSeda is totally browser based web-conferencing software, with Literally NO software to download or install, enabling you to host live meetings, classrooms and webinars in seconds - right in your browser.

So, let’s talk about this paragraph just a little bit.

First, my name is Corey and not Smith. I have never liked it when people call other people by their last name. I think it’s impersonal and disrespectful. You should either call someone by their first name or title + last name (e.g. Mr. Smith).

Second, they were given my contact info by their marketing team? What does that mean? Does that mean their marketing team called me and I gave them permission? Does that mean some bot mined my email address?

Third, the first paragraph jumps right into features demonstrating a clear lack of understanding of a real problem that may or may not exist.

Fourth, the letter he sent listed a number of features as their competitive advantage. The catch? Most of the features can be done well with the competitors they list and better with those they don’t list.

I decided to be a little snarky and send an email back.


I don’t know your marketing team so your introduction doesn’t compel me to take interest in your product. Please remove me from your mailing list and tell your marketing department that they need to learn better how to do their job.


Corey (my first name is not Smith)

I was disappointed that the email didn’t get delivered because the user’s mailfolder is full. Perhaps it was from all the people replying with, “Stop spamming me!” because the email wasn’t CAN-SPAM compliant.

This ‘marketing’ email alone demonstrates a significant lack of understanding how to market. However, their website demonstrates it even more. We can talk about the stupid intro landing page or the flash embedded video. We can talk about the design that might have been impressive in 2002 or the fact that I don’t know which call to action I should pay attention to.

But I won’t talk about those things. I’ll just focus on social media issues.

Marketing in 2011 (soon 2012) requires the ability to connect with your clients via social media… especially if you are in an industry that requires support as their service no doubt does. They don’t have a corporate Twitter or Facebook presence. Looking them up on Twitter, the most applicable tweet was from @paraic where he said:

Dear TalkSeda-GVO, whether you think your unsolicited email can be considered spam or not is not the point #fail #spammers

Stupid marketers.

They are an MLM company so maybe this TalkSeda is one of their ‘representatives.’ Maybe GVO doesn’t even know this is going on (probably not the case). But if GVO doesn’t know, it doesn’t excuse their website and their lack of participation in the social world.

The only real competitive advantage they have is that they are cheap (inexpensive - but they are really cheap, too). I wouldn’t consider using their services if they were free.

Corey Smith and his wife are the proud parents of five wonderful children and live in Meridian, Idaho. He is the president of Tribute Media, a Meridian based Web Consulting firm.

He is the author of two books, "Do It Right: A CEO's Guide to Web Strategy" and "Tweet It Right: A CEO's Guide to Twitter." You can learn more about his books here.

Interested in having Corey speak for your organization? Need help building or marketing your organization? Want to tell Corey how cool you think he is?